Graduation at Arrendale

Arrendale State Prison

Lee Arrendale State Prison is the largest state women's prison in Georgia and is located an hour north of Atlanta in the North Georgia mountains. Students will have the opportunity to provide pastoral care to incarcerated women, support chaplaincy programs, and assist the chaplain with worship. 

Site Work

Wednesdays, 9 am - 2 pm. Additional flexibility may be possible as the semester unfolds.

Site work will be remote for the fall. Spring plans dependent upon policy of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Students will work as chaplain interns, providing spiritual care for staff and incarcerated women at Lee Arrendale State Prison. Chaplain interns will help develop innovative models of chaplaincy suitable for the current constraints of the pandemic. Projects may include developing written and video devotional materials that can be distributed inside the facility; assisting with the collection of toiletries and other essential supplies for women in need; and strengthening the network of supporters and volunteers who sustain Arrendale's many chaplaincy programs. For the fall, work will be fully remote. In-person work will be considered in the spring semester, as Department of Corrections policies and public health guidance permitted. 

Fall 2020 Reflection Group

Wednesday 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

In Fall 2020, ConEd I Reflection Groups ideally will meet in a low-frequency hybrid format. This means most weekly class sessions will be conducted via Zoom, with the possibility of several sessions conducted in-person as conditions and University policy allow. Students who must remain fully remote for health reasons willbe able to participate in any in-person sessions via Zoom.

Spring 2021 Integrative Seminar

Wednesday 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Spring 2021 Con Ed I Integrative Seminars will meet online via Zoom. 

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in Arrendale State Prison will also enroll in Intro to Pastoral Care PC501 CE in the fall semester, taught by Dr. Gregory Ellison (Monday, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.).

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Khalia Williams will serve as the academic advisor for Arrendale State Prison students.

Site Mission

To provide pastoral care and counseling, worship and ministry to a 1,700-bed correctional facility for female offenders. This also includes ministry to approximately 500 staff members and their families.

About the Site

The Chaplaincy Department at Lee Arrendale State Prison has a variety of programs. These include worship, religious education, music, dance ministry, pastoral therapy groups, ministry to inmates with mental health issues, postpartum issues inmates, inmates with chronic medical issues such as HIV, Hepatitis C and cancer, and substance abuse issues.

Demographics of female offenders in Georgia are as follows:
53% Caucasian
46.5% African American
5% Hispanic and/or Asian
80% or more have addiction and substance abuse issues
80% or more have physical, mental, sexual abuse issues
90% are mothers and/or grandmothers
The age range is between 13–80
The average age is between 25–35

Student Reflection

MDiv student Allison Henderson-Brooks reflects on her Contextual Education I experience at Arrendale State Prison during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Additional Requirements & Accessibility 

In addition to the criminal background check Candler requires of all admitted students, this site requires a criminal background check administered by the Georgia Department of Corrections. Depending on the results of the background check, fingerprinting may also be required. 


Lee Arrendale State Prison
2023 Gainesville Hwy South
Alto, GA 30510 (Map)
Phone: 706.776.4700
Handicap Accessible: Y

Students must submit an online application. Information regarding application will follow class registration.

Teaching and Site Supervisor

The Rev. Chaplain Susan Bishop has been a Correctional Clinical Chaplain with the Georgia Department of Corrections since 1984. She is a Candler graduate, has a master's degree in music education from Georgia State, and has been supervising Candler students since 1997. Susan is an ordained Southern Baptist clergywoman.
Phone: 706.776.4700